Co-op Bank and eco.business Fund join forces to boost agribusiness in Kenya

KENYA – Co-operative Bank of Kenya, a tier one lender in Kenya, has secured US$10 million loan from eco.business Fund, a Luxembourg-based impact investment fund for on-lending to agribusinesses. The Nairobi Securities Exchange listed lender said it had received the subordinated loan from eco business Fund and will extend the same to sustainable agribusinesses, such as those in the coffee and tea. The facility marks the first investment in Kenya for eco-business Fund, a specialist in promoting use of natural resources, and mitigating and adapting to climate change. Co-op Bank chief executive…

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German company ecoligo commissions Kenya’s first floating solar system

KENYA – Berlin-based solar company ecoligo, which implements solar projects in emerging markets, has commissioned Kenya’s first ever floating solar plant. The 69 kWp system provides clean and affordable energy to the sustainable flower farm, Rift Valley Roses. The solar plant floats on one of the farm’s water reservoirs, saving space and providing many other benefits in addition to renewable energy. Rift Valley Roses has been pursuing the goal of sustainable, environmentally friendly production for years and in addition to rainwater catchment basins to reduce water consumption and biogas plants,…

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SunCulture secures US$11m from investors for its solar powered irrigation systems

KENYA – A consortium of investors is availing an US$11 million line of credit for SunCulture, a supplier of solar powered irrigation systems based in Nairobi, Kenya for the dissemination of its solution in Africa. The new financial partners include the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Energy Inclusion Facility (OGEF); Triodos Investment Management, the Danish government’s Nordic Development Fund (NDF); and the investment company AlphaMundi. The entire transaction was arranged by SunFunder, a financing company specialised in solar energy. SunCulture, which has already started drawing…

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EU injects US$46.3m to boost agribusiness in Kenya

KENYA – Agribusiness in Kisii and Uasin Gishu counties in Kenya has received a much-needed shot-in-the-arm with a US$46.3 million funding from the European Union. The two regional county governments and Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at accelerating the engagement of women and youth in agribusiness activities through the AgriBIz programme which is funded by the European Union and Danida at a cost of US$46.3 million. The Memorandum of Understanding will facilitate the collaboration and cooperation between the two entities in advancing…

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Agritech startup Aerobotics raises US$17m in funding round led by Naspers

SOUTH AFRICA – Agritech start-up Aerobotics founded in Cape Town, has raised US$17-million in a series-B funding round led by Naspers, one of the world’s top 10 technology investors. Report of the investment comes barely a year after Naspers said it would invest US$6.7 million in Aerobotics through its Naspers Foundry business, which funds early-stage ventures. Other than Naspers, there was also “significant participation” from Platform Investment Partners, FMO: Entrepreneurial Development Bank and Cathay AfricInvest Innovation. The series-B investment will used to further technology development and product delivery in the US, a…

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South Africa’s startup Nile launches tech-enabled platform to connect farmers with buyers

SOUTH AFRICA – Nile, South African startup has launched a tech-enabled sourcing platform that facilitates the wholesale trade of fresh produce, connecting farmers directly with buyers. A B2B e-commerce platform, Nile aggregate supply across the SADC region to offer buyers access to high quality fresh produce at transparent prices. “Our platform makes it easy and safe to trade fresh produce and a wholesale buyer can now view live prices and availability from multiple producers across different regions. A buyer can place orders instantly by selecting specific ripeness, grade, size and packaging,” said Louis de Kock,…

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Seed-Co International absorbs its Zimbabwe subsidiary, expects no board changes

ZIMBABWE – Seed producer Seed-Co International (SCIL) has said there will be no changes to the structure of its board once it completes the absorption of the Zimbabwean subsidiary, Seed Co Limited (SCL). In a move that marks a complete turnaround from the group’s 2018 unbundling, the Botswana Stock Exchange-listed Seed-Co International which is secondarily listed on the US dollar denominated Victoria Falls Stock Exchange – VFEX, will be merged with the Zimbabwean entity. That means SCL, which is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) will have to delist.…

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UN Women partners Kenya’s AFC to boost women in agriculture

KENYA – UN Women Kenya chapter, in partnership with Kenya’s  agriculture sector lender Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC), have held a two day business to business forum in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa aimed at providing a platform for buyers/agro-dealers and other key stakeholders in the agri–market space to engage with women farmers. The partnership seeks to enhance awareness on local markets and take steps towards mitigating the market risk and open new horizons in matters market for women in agriculture. Speaking during the forum, AFC Head of Credit, Mr. Bonano…

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Agritech startup swiftVEE secures US$1.5m in funding for expansion

SOUTH AFRICA – South African agritecth startup, swiftVEE has secured US$1.5 million in an investment round led by Subtropico Ltd, an unlisted public company specialising in agri investments across the fruit, vegetable, and livestock industries and a private syndicate. The funding will be used to expand the agritech’s offering within South Africa and neighbouring countries including Namibia and Botswana. With the new investment, swiftVEE will be included on Zire, South Africa’s first multi-industry agricultural services platform that will provide technology services to industry stakeholders in the livestock, fruit and vegetable sector. By leveraging off…

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Namibia’s Kelp farm project to get US$60m investment from CFM and Eos Capital

NAMIBIA – Climate Investor Two (CI2), managed by Climate Fund Managers (CFM), Kelp Blue and the Namibia Infrastructure Development and Investment Fund (NIDIF), managed by Eos Capital, have partnered for a commercial development of the world’s first large- scale kelp farm. An investment of approximately $60million will be required over a 5-year period. This will be funded by both international and local Namibian sources through CI2 and NIDIF, pending investment approvals. Kelp Blue will seek the necessary Namibian regulatory approvals and will liaise closely with local authorities. Kelp Blue will…

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